There were some big announcements this week, with DC announcing the launch of DC Squared, a new digital initiative that apparently opens up whole new avenues of exploration for the DCU in DC Multiverse, and turns your digital comics into something analogous to a motion comic and a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ style novel all in one.
Of course this a revolutionary announcement, as it reveals DC catching up with technology and style that Marvel has already utilised in its ‘Infinite’ comics, and pioneered by many indie creators, such as Reilly Brown, or in John Roger’s Arcanum (found at Thrillbent 2.0). As welcome as it is, and I hope leading to an immense amount of new content, DC have rather shown themselves to be a little behind the curve. One can’t help but think that this announcement will not be as welcome at the local comic store as it will be be the fans. Is this the latest precursor of the potential demise of analogue comics retail? I don’t see them selling comics with speakers.
What has really inspired me this week, is not the latest (and somewhat predictable) issue of Age of Ultron, but the latest instalment of Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers, #13 written with Nick Spencer. With beautifully flowing art from Mike Deodato, the latest issue has established a character that has never really had such a firm foundation.
The very first Hyperion we met, was a villain created by the Grand Master as part of his Squadron Sinister. A jerk by very definition. These villains were revealed to be ersatz copies of members of Squadron Supreme, themselves analogues of the Justice League of America. The villain temporarily masqueraded as the original heroic version on this alternate Earth, before being slain by the native Hyperion. (Also proving that the heroic version was a jerk.)
The Squadron Sinister gained a new Hyperion who this time was native to an Earth-616 Microverse (like the Squadron’s Hyperion). Meanwhile, the readership’s attention turned to the Squadron Supreme of Earth-31916 in the Mature Readers series Supreme Power, where Mark Milton was free to really be a jerk.
Let’s not forget the suicidal Hyperion of Paradise X, nor the psychopathic King Hyperion encountered by the Exiles who met his end on Earth-616 at the hands of another soon to be returning character, Adam the Blue Marvel. So many dark paths for an injured psyche to wander down.
This week however, we see a tender side to the new Hyperion’s nature, as he reveals new motives for standing alongside the Avengers and remaining in the role of hero and protector, against the backdrop of the High Evolutionary acting in the best manner in line with his purported motivations as I have ever seen. Finally, the High Evolutionary is who he claims on the, er, can, and this gives this Hyperion the chance to be likeable and more than a simple Superman clone.